Author Topic: Self-Help Books  (Read 5887 times)

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Offline brandb

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Self-Help Books
« on: December 24, 2011, 01:31:16 AM »
Background: I don't really enjoy reading self-help books (on account of being forced to read a few that were unpleasant and boring as heck) but I came across one that interested me and I'm thinking of purchasing it.

SO,

What is your opinion of self-help books? o_O Do they actually help? Are they completely worthless?  Have you read/do you own any?
Why?

Just curious.

(And if there's already a recent thread about this, don't jump on me and tear me to pieces- just PM me and I will come back and clear out the text. THX.)

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2011, 10:40:35 AM »
I've read a few that were worthless, many that I got at least something valuable out of. . .and a few that hands down saved my life.  If you'd like to PM me on what you're looking for, I may be able to give you some suggestions - or at least knock out a few that will waste your time.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:41:38 AM by quietmorning »
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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2011, 10:52:47 AM »
The cure to issues of the self is self-denial, not self-help.
No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2011, 11:17:24 AM »
I don't know what books I've read that might qualify. I don't think I've ever read one that you would find in a self-help section in a book store, but I have read some spiritual/pyschology stuff that basically amounted to self-help. Fwiw I never really got much out of them. The average book seemed largely to break down like this:

10% common sense
10% stuff you could have figured out on your own after some thought on the matter (and maybe a few hours of research online)
10% stuff so specific it wasn't relevant to you
70% filler and needless expansion on points being made, added because a book publisher won't publish a 15,000 word essay, so the text needs to be a lot longer

Having said that, if you find one that seems helpful, then don't let my cynicism stop you :) If one interests you, I'd say give it a shot...  worst that can happen is you read for a couple hours and decide not to finish it. I can't tell you how many books I've done that with  :D
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 11:19:03 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2011, 04:05:14 PM »
The cure to issues of the self is self-denial, not self-help.

I was really hoping someone other than I was going to explain to brandb the existence of the Demon of Self-Esteem.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 04:05:30 PM by orthonorm »

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2011, 05:01:10 PM »
The cure to issues of the self is self-denial, not self-help.

I was really hoping someone other than I was going to explain to brandb the existence of the Demon of Self-Esteem.



I don't think any of the really good books I've read actually helped me had anything to do with self-esteem.  
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 05:01:34 PM by quietmorning »
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2011, 06:09:46 PM »
The cure to issues of the self is self-denial, not self-help.

I was really hoping someone other than I was going to explain to brandb the existence of the Demon of Self-Esteem.


What's wrong with self-esteem?
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Offline brandb

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2011, 01:00:18 AM »
LOL, the one I'm reading doesn't have much to do with self-esteem. It's on more practical matters like getting married. I'm actually enjoying it.  ;)

The cure to issues of the self is self-denial, not self-help.

I was really hoping someone other than I was going to explain to brandb the existence of the Demon of Self-Esteem.


What's wrong with self-esteem?


It's pretty much the idea that "loving yourself" somehow makes you incapable of the selflessness and self-denial that we are called to as Christians. IMHO, it depends on how you define those words- telling people to "hate themselves" seems too encouraging to things like suicide (of course, there are people who will say that suicide = a form of self love. Ick. :P)

Basically alot of mind-warpy stuff that's too complicated to get into in this thread.
But we can totally start a thread on self esteem! Yay or Nay?!

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2011, 01:27:43 AM »
Very few of the books I've read - especially the ones that helped in a very serious way had little if anything to do with self-esteem.  

**chuckles** and the one I have on how to keep an organized house with children had absolutely NOTHING to do with myself esteem.  

Most of the books that go in that direction for me are usually my first hint that this isn't the book that I'm going to need - it's just a 'feel good' book.  I don't need to 'feel good' . . .I need to function.  **laughs**

(Edit) oops. . .looks like I have a much shorter (less wordy) version of this above.  .  . lol.  Sigh. . . forgive my short term memory these days.   :angel:
« Last Edit: December 25, 2011, 01:30:15 AM by quietmorning »
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Offline brandb

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2011, 02:58:19 AM »
Very few of the books I've read - especially the ones that helped in a very serious way had little if anything to do with self-esteem.  

**chuckles** and the one I have on how to keep an organized house with children had absolutely NOTHING to do with myself esteem.  

Most of the books that go in that direction for me are usually my first hint that this isn't the book that I'm going to need - it's just a 'feel good' book.  I don't need to 'feel good' . . .I need to function.  **laughs**

(Edit) oops. . .looks like I have a much shorter (less wordy) version of this above.  .  . lol.  Sigh. . . forgive my short term memory these days.   :angel:

Haha, yes! I agree completely with this. I find that the ones to make you "feel good" usually fall into the category that Asteriktos mentioned earlier:
I don't know what books I've read that might qualify. I don't think I've ever read one that you would find in a self-help section in a book store, but I have read some spiritual/pyschology stuff that basically amounted to self-help. Fwiw I never really got much out of them. The average book seemed largely to break down like this:

10% common sense
10% stuff you could have figured out on your own after some thought on the matter (and maybe a few hours of research online)
10% stuff so specific it wasn't relevant to you
70% filler and needless expansion on points being made, added because a book publisher won't publish a 15,000 word essay, so the text needs to be a lot longer

Having said that, if you find one that seems helpful, then don't let my cynicism stop you :) If one interests you, I'd say give it a shot...  worst that can happen is you read for a couple hours and decide not to finish it. I can't tell you how many books I've done that with  :D

Yup. But I'm usually pretty good about finishing books. Only two books in my life have I started and not finished: one I don't remember, and the other was A Tale of Two Cities. Could not make it past the first page (which is weird because I've read other things by Dickens. Hmm...). Speaking of S-H books that I've finished, I somehow managed to make it through The Purpose Driven Life. Totally unnecessary to my life.

Offline Shiny

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2011, 09:04:16 AM »
I want orthonormie to chime in on this, because I always believed you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

However I am willing to change my belief if I am incorrect. Many of the relationships with women who did not love who they were could not ever reciprocate the love back. But that is from my own experience FWIW
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2011, 09:04:16 AM »
Most of the books that go in that direction for me are usually my first hint that this isn't the book that I'm going to need - it's just a 'feel good' book.  I don't need to 'feel good' . . .I need to function.  **laughs**
Haha love it!
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Offline vamrat

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2011, 10:31:49 AM »
I want orthonormie to chime in on this, because I always believed you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

However I am willing to change my belief if I am incorrect. Many of the relationships with women who did not love who they were could not ever reciprocate the love back. But that is from my own experience FWIW

Mine as well.

As for self-help books - if you could help yourself then why haven't you done it already?  I think people need more other-people help.  Essentially that is what the book is, another person giving you advice.  But you don't get the human connection.  People try too often to get help from a paid professional, from a book, from a drug.  But we are social animals.  We need friends, family, a priest, a spouse.  We need God.  You take friends and family away from any other primate and it will suffer.  Humans are no different except that we are more complex and we need to nourish our souls as well.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline Opus118

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2011, 11:51:56 AM »
I want orthonormie to chime in on this, because I always believed you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

However I am willing to change my belief if I am incorrect. Many of the relationships with women who did not love who they were could not ever reciprocate the love back. But that is from my own experience FWIW

Mine as well.

This is not my belief, the opposite is closer to the truth from my perspective - but the love that comes back to you that fulfills you is from God and not yourself. I do not understand loving yourself and perhaps the term needs to be clarified.

Tollhouse 23 might be an argument against my belief (and I am constantly being reminded of its possible existence), but my thoughts on the matter are not ready for publication.

I have no opinion about self-help books since the only one I have read was Beat the Dealer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_O._Thorp, which I never put to use.


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Offline FountainPen

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2011, 01:43:46 PM »
The cure to issues of the self is self-denial, not self-help.

I was really hoping someone other than I was going to explain to brandb the existence of the Demon of Self-Esteem.



We need to have a "lol" of the day thread  :laugh:
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Offline FountainPen

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2011, 01:50:12 PM »
I want orthonormie to chime in on this, because I always believed you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

However I am willing to change my belief if I am incorrect. Many of the relationships with women who did not love who they were could not ever reciprocate the love back. But that is from my own experience FWIW

It's not about loving yourself so much as getting your needs met and accepting yourself IMO.
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Offline vamrat

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2011, 02:21:47 PM »
I want orthonormie to chime in on this, because I always believed you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

However I am willing to change my belief if I am incorrect. Many of the relationships with women who did not love who they were could not ever reciprocate the love back. But that is from my own experience FWIW

Mine as well.

This is not my belief, the opposite is closer to the truth from my perspective - but the love that comes back to you that fulfills you is from God and not yourself. I do not understand loving yourself and perhaps the term needs to be clarified.

Tollhouse 23 might be an argument against my belief (and I am constantly being reminded of its possible existence), but my thoughts on the matter are not ready for publication.

I have no opinion about self-help books since the only one I have read was Beat the Dealer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_O._Thorp, which I never put to use.




The last part of what Fountain Pen said above is what I have seen.  There is no room for humility in this world.  In the next it will be useful but here if you don't promote yourself no one else will.  God knows it won't be a woman that does.  That's what all this bullsh.. about "confidence" is.  "A girl wants a guy who is confident" and so on, and on ad nauseum.  And in my experience it goes both ways.  Any woman who has no sense of self-worth is going to be used, not loved.  And if you try and love her she'll try and drag you down.  Perhaps there are some women here who will challenge me, and I say good.  Prove it by your actions.  If you prove me wrong then may God bless you in this life and the next.  If you challenge my words but your actions speak to the contrary, then may you rot, for all I care.
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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2011, 02:30:32 PM »
The last part of what Fountain Pen said above is what I have seen.  There is no room for humility in this world.  In the next it will be useful but here if you don't promote yourself no one else will.  God knows it won't be a woman that does.  That's what all this bullsh.. about "confidence" is.  "A girl wants a guy who is confident" and so on, and on ad nauseum.  And in my experience it goes both ways.  Any woman who has no sense of self-worth is going to be used, not loved.  And if you try and love her she'll try and drag you down.  Perhaps there are some women here who will challenge me, and I say good.  Prove it by your actions.  If you prove me wrong then may God bless you in this life and the next.  If you challenge my words but your actions speak to the contrary, then may you rot, for all I care.

Why you mad though?

Offline vamrat

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2011, 02:59:22 PM »
The last part of what Fountain Pen said above is what I have seen.  There is no room for humility in this world.  In the next it will be useful but here if you don't promote yourself no one else will.  God knows it won't be a woman that does.  That's what all this bullsh.. about "confidence" is.  "A girl wants a guy who is confident" and so on, and on ad nauseum.  And in my experience it goes both ways.  Any woman who has no sense of self-worth is going to be used, not loved.  And if you try and love her she'll try and drag you down.  Perhaps there are some women here who will challenge me, and I say good.  Prove it by your actions.  If you prove me wrong then may God bless you in this life and the next.  If you challenge my words but your actions speak to the contrary, then may you rot, for all I care.

Why you mad though?

Because there is a critical step between accepting something and liking it.
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Offline Schultz

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2011, 03:08:44 PM »
The last part of what Fountain Pen said above is what I have seen.  There is no room for humility in this world.  In the next it will be useful but here if you don't promote yourself no one else will.  God knows it won't be a woman that does.  That's what all this bullsh.. about "confidence" is.  "A girl wants a guy who is confident" and so on, and on ad nauseum.  And in my experience it goes both ways.  Any woman who has no sense of self-worth is going to be used, not loved.  And if you try and love her she'll try and drag you down.  Perhaps there are some women here who will challenge me, and I say good.  Prove it by your actions.  If you prove me wrong then may God bless you in this life and the next.  If you challenge my words but your actions speak to the contrary, then may you rot, for all I care.

Why you mad though?

Giving orthonorm a run for his money, I see ;)
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Offline brandb

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2011, 04:47:06 PM »
Wow, I come back after X-mas and this is what I find? Raging bitterness? LOL, JK.

The last part of what Fountain Pen said above is what I have seen.  There is no room for humility in this world.  In the next it will be useful but here if you don't promote yourself no one else will.  God knows it won't be a woman that does.  That's what all this bullsh.. about "confidence" is.  "A girl wants a guy who is confident" and so on, and on ad nauseum.  And in my experience it goes both ways.  Any woman who has no sense of self-worth is going to be used, not loved.  And if you try and love her she'll try and drag you down.  Perhaps there are some women here who will challenge me, and I say good.  Prove it by your actions.  If you prove me wrong then may God bless you in this life and the next.  If you challenge my words but your actions speak to the contrary, then may you rot, for all I care.

Why you mad though?

Because there is a critical step between accepting something and liking it.

OHNOYOUDIDN'T

Are you wearing blinders? Because CLEARLY you haven't heard/read all the advice directed to towards WOMEN on how to be confident, sexy, not nags, how not to annoy men because the second we do, they will leave and find someone better. Clearly. Everything you've said is written in every self help book ever written for women. I know some amazing women who do just fine without any advice, and some men too. But some of us need a little help. (And I'd prefer someone to give me advice who's not threatening me with curses.) It's not just men that get the rap. And as I understand it, men aren't exactly perfect either. Not by a long-shot. EVERYBODY gets it. EVERYONE has problems.
Let's not go down this road. That's what Orthonorm's Dating Advice thread is for. ;)


SO.

I'm starting to get into the "advice phase" of the book which is stuff l already know *le sigh* but I can't say other parts of it haven't been useful. I find I'm more inclined to make certain changes if I'm following an outlined plan (like this book) or doing it with someone motivating me (like seeing a therapist, personal trainer, etc). And maybe that's just me. It's a ways to go before I finish it, so perhaps something will change. Currently working on making suggested changes.  

Also, with the "reaching out to real people" thing. Kinda hard to do that when no one is really willing to put in the effort to help you. So in that sense I find that Self-Help books can be particularly useful. And what about the changes people make in their lives that often benefit others? I hardly call that selfish. :P
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 04:56:12 PM by brandb »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2011, 04:58:27 PM »
Background: I don't really enjoy reading self-help books (on account of being forced to read a few that were unpleasant and boring as heck) but I came across one that interested me and I'm thinking of purchasing it.

SO,

What is your opinion of self-help books? o_O Do they actually help? Are they completely worthless?  Have you read/do you own any?
Why?

Just curious.

(And if there's already a recent thread about this, don't jump on me and tear me to pieces- just PM me and I will come back and clear out the text. THX.)

None of my self-help books came from the self help section in the bookstore. There are, however, books I will reread for consolation, help, and inspiration. Among them are: "Letters to Spiritual Children," by Abbot Nikon; "Father Arseny;" "Crazy John;" biographies of holy elders; "Salt of the Earth: The Life of Elder Isidore of Gethsemane Skete;" "An Early Soviet Saint: The Life of Elder Zachariah;" "Communion of Love," by Matthew the Poor; The Sayings of the Desert Fathers...

All of these and more I found very helpful for what I see as the purpose of self-help literature--motivation and inspiration. Also, unlike most of self-help literature, these Orthodox books are written from correct, Orthodox spiritual understanding and anthropology and psychology.
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Offline Opus118

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2011, 01:26:28 PM »
The last part of what Fountain Pen said above is what I have seen.
I agree that we need to accept who we are and not hide it at any given moment. It is key to improving ourselves. If you go into a cocoon, you will not come out as a butterfly.

Quote
There is no room for humility in this world.  In the next it will be useful but here if you don't promote yourself no one else will.
This is patently untrue. I was emotionally unable to promote myself (shy people are like that). Fortunately others who cared about me and who deemed, somehow, that I was a valuable commodity did promote me throughout my career. Perhaps I am an exception to the rule, but perhaps not.
 
Quote
God knows it won't be a woman that does.  That's what all this bullsh.. about "confidence" is.  "A girl wants a guy who is confident" and so on, and on ad nauseum.  And in my experience it goes both ways.  Any woman who has no sense of self-worth is going to be used, not loved.  And if you try and love her she'll try and drag you down.  Perhaps there are some women here who will challenge me, and I say good.
I can't productively comment on this topic. I could tell you my life story but it would not be relevant to your experience.

Quote
Prove me wrong then may God bless you in this life and the next.  If you challenge my words but your actions speak to the contrary, then may you rot, for all I care.
I will rot, possibly sooner than I want, because I am negligent in regard to my health. Today is an example, I went to work even though I am sick simply because lying in bed bores me.  I made the statement that I do not believe that one has to love themselves in order to love others because that gets at the core of who I believe I am and the path of life (purpose) I chose as a teenager. I can't prove you wrong, I can only state loving and caring for others has worked out for me.
If you cannot remember everything, instead of everything, I beg you, remember this without fail, that not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth but theirs.  If we have this attitude, we will certainly offer our money; and by nourishing Christ in poverty here and laying up great profit hereafter, we will be able to attain the good things which are to come. - St. John Chrysostom

Offline vamrat

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2011, 02:25:39 PM »
The last part of what Fountain Pen said above is what I have seen.
I agree that we need to accept who we are and not hide it at any given moment. It is key to improving ourselves. If you go into a cocoon, you will not come out as a butterfly.

Quote
There is no room for humility in this world.  In the next it will be useful but here if you don't promote yourself no one else will.
This is patently untrue. I was emotionally unable to promote myself (shy people are like that). Fortunately others who cared about me and who deemed, somehow, that I was a valuable commodity did promote me throughout my career. Perhaps I am an exception to the rule, but perhaps not.
 
Quote
God knows it won't be a woman that does.  That's what all this bullsh.. about "confidence" is.  "A girl wants a guy who is confident" and so on, and on ad nauseum.  And in my experience it goes both ways.  Any woman who has no sense of self-worth is going to be used, not loved.  And if you try and love her she'll try and drag you down.  Perhaps there are some women here who will challenge me, and I say good.
I can't productively comment on this topic. I could tell you my life story but it would not be relevant to your experience.

Quote
Prove me wrong then may God bless you in this life and the next.  If you challenge my words but your actions speak to the contrary, then may you rot, for all I care.
I will rot, possibly sooner than I want, because I am negligent in regard to my health. Today is an example, I went to work even though I am sick simply because lying in bed bores me.  I made the statement that I do not believe that one has to love themselves in order to love others because that gets at the core of who I believe I am and the path of life (purpose) I chose as a teenager. I can't prove you wrong, I can only state loving and caring for others has worked out for me.


Opus, as brandb correctly pointed out above what I said came from anger and bitterness.  I'm sorry you took the time to write out a thoughtful response to what was an irrational point of view.  I wish I could go back and erase what I said, but the Lord says that we must account for every foolish word spoken.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline brandb

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2011, 08:37:23 PM »
Opus, as brandb correctly pointed out above what I said came from anger and bitterness.  I'm sorry you took the time to write out a thoughtful response to what was an irrational point of view.  I wish I could go back and erase what I said, but the Lord says that we must account for every foolish word spoken.

Too true. I could have been more compassionate and understanding in my response and
feel that I should apologize for the fact that I was not.

Offline FountainPen

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2011, 08:54:40 PM »
Opus, as brandb correctly pointed out above what I said came from anger and bitterness.  I'm sorry you took the time to write out a thoughtful response to what was an irrational point of view.  I wish I could go back and erase what I said, but the Lord says that we must account for every foolish word spoken.

Too true. I could have been more compassionate and understanding in my response and
feel that I should apologize for the fact that I was not.

But you were funny  ;D
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Offline Isadore

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2011, 12:27:45 AM »
I read a book called "if you had controlling parents" and it helped me a lot. which basically explains the dysfunctional family structures and how ineffective parenting has lasting and confusing affects on children. It actually helped me figure out where a lot of anxiety came from and get closer to my parents again because I understood their behavior and what went wrong.

http://www.controllingparents.com/

obviously the good self help isn't re-hashed "I'm good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it people like me!" :p
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 12:31:03 AM by Isadore »
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved."

Offline brandb

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2011, 03:08:04 AM »
I read a book called "if you had controlling parents" and it helped me a lot. which basically explains the dysfunctional family structures and how ineffective parenting has lasting and confusing affects on children. It actually helped me figure out where a lot of anxiety came from and get closer to my parents again because I understood their behavior and what went wrong.

http://www.controllingparents.com/

obviously the good self help isn't re-hashed "I'm good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it people like me!" :p

WANT.
I'm buying this ASAP. Good thing I downloaded the Kindle for Mac (which is how I'm reading the other book, btw).

EDIT//

This website is like a gold mine (where there's actually gold).
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 03:12:38 AM by brandb »

Offline elephant

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2011, 08:27:07 AM »
Dear brandb,

Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Love, elephant

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2012, 05:44:25 AM »
But we can totally start a thread on self esteem! Yay or Nay?!

Done!  :)
"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Self-Help Books
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2012, 05:44:25 AM »
"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying